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Launch of think tank is delayed

June 01, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Regulators have delayed the launch of the controversial new $600-million climate change think tank, giving many of California's utility customers a reprieve from the associated surcharge until September.

The California Institute for Climate Solutions, approved by the state Public Utilities Commission in April, would spend $60 million a year for 10 years to speed up deployment of technologies that would cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

The money would be collected primarily from customers of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. through a monthly surcharge based on energy usage. The surcharge was to begin in July.

Consumer groups and several California legislators are still fighting the venture, contending that it is a costly and unlawful departure from the utilities commission's core mission of ensuring that the state's ratepayers get affordable and reliable power.

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